The people of Wuru, a deprived community in the Sissala East Municipality of the Upper West Region are not using the Ghana Cedis, the official currency of Ghana as its medium of exchange due to the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi and other compelling factors.
The only way they accept the cedi as medium of exchange or legal tender is to receive the money in CFA equivalent when selling their products.
The community, with a population of more than 3,000, transacts business with neighbouring Burkina-Faso and accepts the CFA as the legal tender for convenience.
They trade in livestock, cereals and sheanut as well as fowls.
Maize, millet, and sesame are the major crops produced in the area.
Wurupio Mahama Bataachia Dawuri IV, the chief of the area speaking to the GNA, said there was nothing wrong with spending a foreign currency in the area since they do not recognize themselves as Ghanaians because they have been neglected, and do not benefit from government projects.
He attributed the problem to among other things, poor road infrastructure, depreciation of the Ghana cedi and increases in prices of petroleum products as well as Burkinabes being their only business partners.
Some people making payment with the CFA in the Wuru market.
The community, about 70 kilometres from Tumu borders Burkina-Faso and speaks only Kassem, the language of Navrongo and other Kassena Nankana communities of the Upper East Region.
It took the GNA more than three hours on a motorbike from Tumu to the community due to the deplorable nature of the road, which a vehicle cannot access.
The GNA visited the Sissala East Municipality to see problems facing the people and to report on them for assistance by state actors.
Wurupio Dawuri explained that the Ghana Cedi and the CFA were spent concurrently, but that the people stopped accepting the Ghanaian currency due to depreciation and high fuel prices.
The chief said the Wuru community is only remembered during elections, where politicians come to “deceive” them for their votes.
He said: “We consider ourselves as being in a neutral zone. We do not know whether we belong to Ghana or Burkina-Faso because nobody cares about us,” and that they appealed for support over the years that were ignored.
He explained that they have been compelled by circumstances to ignore the Ghana Cedi since they could not convey their produce to any of the Ghanaian communities for sale because of lack of roads and transportation.
“People come here to tell us that it is illegal for us to spend the CFA other than the cedis. We also tell them it is not our fault because the only way for us to survive is to accept the CFA since all the goods come from Burkina-Faso,” he said.
He expressed concern about the inability of the National Identification Authority (NIA) to register and get the Ghana Card for them due to lack of network service in the area for registration.
Wurupio Dawuri said it was important for the government to ensure that the Wuru community gets good roads to be linked to the rest of Ghana to ensure the people belong to Ghana and to enjoy the national cake.
He also appealed for water, communication network and security in the area since they cannot defend themselves from terrorists’ attacks.
Mr. Yakubu Fuseini Batong, the Sissala East Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) said the Tumu-Kunchokor-Wuru road had been awarded and that construction would soon start.
He said efforts were being made to construct and repair broken bridges on the Wuru road.